The Evidence for Easter


The Evidence for Easter by Wayne A. Danielson

Fellowship Class

Tarrytown United Methodist Church

April 19, 1992


Mark 16: 1-8.  When the sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, brought spices with which to go and anoint him.  And very early in the morning on the first day of the week they went to the tomb, just as the sun was rising.

They had been saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us form the entrance to the tomb?"  But when they looked they could see that the stone -- which was very big -- had already been rolled back.  On entering the tomb they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right-hand side, and they were struck with amazement.  But he said to them, "There is no need for alarm.  You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified:  he has risen, he is not here.  See, here is the place where they laid him.  But you must go and tell h

is disciples and Peter, 'He is going before you to Galilee; it is there you will see him, just as he told you¸.'  And the women came out and ran away from the tomb because they were frightened out of their wits; and they said nothing to a soul for they were afraid ....

Luke 24:28-32.  When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them.  "It is nearly evening," they said, "and the day is almost over."  So he went in to stay with them.  Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them.  And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; but he had vanished from their sight.  Then they said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?"

John 20:24-29.  Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.  When the disciples said, "We have seen the Lord," he answered, "Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe. "  Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them.  The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them.  "Peace be unto you," he said.  Then he spoke to Thomas, "Put your finger here; look, here are my hands.  Give me your hand; put it into my side.  Doubt no longer but believe." Thomas replied, "My Lord and my God!"  Jesus said to him:

"You believe because you can see me.

"Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe."

It seems to me that Easter has been a long time coming this year.

I was ready for it to get here a month ago, but it just kind of hung back there.

Maybe it was all the rainy weather, but Lent to me seemed just to drag along.

But this morning at last Easter is here.

And I'm ready for it, aren't you?

To tell you the truth, I could use a little new life.

The last time I talked to this class was December 15.

I've aged a bit in the interim.

My hair turned much white ôr.

The other morning I noticed that even my eyebrows have turned white. 

The wrinkles around my eyes have grown deeper -- they're really getting in there.   No doubt about it, they are here to stay.  No amount of Oil of Olay will erase them.

When I take my evening walk at Camp Mabry, I've noticed that my left leg begins to cramp up on me after half a mile or so.  It never did that before.

Why do you suppose that is?

I'm not a rapid walker.  I just kind of stroll along enjoying the sights.  Everybody else is hard at it out there -- sweating and straining.  Determined to beat yesterday's time, I suppose.  My leisurely pace is kind of embarrassing really.  Everybody passes me at Camp Mabry.  Young people, middle aged people, old people who ought to know better.  About the only people I pass are the stroke victims using walkers.

Do you think I could be getting old?

Easter has been a long time coming.

In  January I had a new grandchild.  Well, technically, Ben's wife, actually had the baby.  But I can claim a part of him, can't I?

He's a very dignified baby.  He has a solemn expression most of the time -- just like his dad, who was a pretty serious baby, too, come to think of it.  They named him Zachary Paul -- the Paul is after is uncle.  Zachary much prefers looking at his mom and dad and his sister to looking at me, I've noticed.  But I kind of sneak up on his crib and take a peek at him from behind once in a while.  The other day, I heard him laugh for the first time.  It was kind of a snuffling, snorfling laugh -- he really got into it.  I was glad to hear it.  I wouldn't want him to be too serious a child.  He'll find plenty to be serious about later on.  He needs to learn to laugh now.   That laugh was kind of like Easter to me, a sign of continuity, a sign that another spring was finally on its way.